Cooper and I flew straight into London at the end of our holiday (in Cyprus) for a long weekend in the Big Smoke. We had a blast! Of course one of our big priorities was to eat well.
Here are my top 5 restaurants from my last few visits to London. Some aren't wholly veggie, but I enjoyed their veggie options. I'll continue to try new places and share them with you in future posts.
My Top Pick
We were invited to try The Gate Restaurant and I'm so glad we were. The food was divine. We don't often get a chance to enjoy such good veggie and vegan food. This restaurant is now in our top 5 veggie places to eat alongside the Atholl Arms Hotel in Dunkeld and David Bann in Edinburgh
Adrian and Michael Daniel have been running The Gate vegetarian restaurant since 1989. They grew up with grandmothers who mixed Indian and Arabic cuisines with Jewish food, so when they opened their first restaurant this is the type of food they wanted to share. As well as their original restaurant in Hammersmith, they also have one in Islington.
What did we eat?
Cooper - Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup (vegan and gluten free options)
Graham and I loved the flavour of this soup, but Cooper wasn't keen. He's a plain eater and all the dressing on top (there was more than you can see, but I removed some) put him off. It looks pretty but it's probably best to serve children their soup plain. It was gorgeous and I'll be trying it myself soon.
Graham - Grilled Chipotle Girolles Mushrooms (vegan and gluten-free)
With red quinoa, avocado, tomatillo & green chilli salsa served with lime kale crisps. Such an exciting starter. A great combination of flavours and textures. Graham loved the kale crisps which he hadn't tried before.
Me - Vietnamese Rolls (vegan and gluten-free)
Filled with smoked tofu, cucumber, mango, mint and alfalfa sprouts served with a soy dip. A clean and fresh flavoured starter. Very pretty and simple. A nice start to the meal.
Cooper - Our fussy eater had some very plain cheese quesadillas, which he enjoyed. The salad leaves were ignored with disdain.
Graham - Aubergine Teriyaki (vegan option)
Char-grilled aubergine layered with coriander pesto, roasted red pepper, shitake mushrooms & horseradish coated with crispy breadcrumbs served on stir-fried noodles with a pickled ginger and mango salsa. I have to try making this at home. It was a really memorable dish. Graham really enjoyed it.
Me - Grilled Asparugus Rotolo (gluten-free)
Baked rolled potato filled with herb ricotta, asparagus and fava beans with grilled vegetable salad and saute samphire. Oh my! So good! Even better, Cooper my picky eater tried the samphire and asparagus and liked them. Our waiter kindly brought him a bowl of samphire to nibble on. Result!
We shared some chunky herb polenta chips with garlic aioli.
Cooper - Chocolate, Griottine and Chestnut Torte (vegan and gluten-free)
On a brazil nut and dried fruit base. Cooper and I both has this. What can I say? Chocolate hit. Nicely presented and tasty.
Graham - Prune and Apple Crumble (vegan option)
Served with vegan chantilly cream. Graham was delighted to be offered dessert. It's such a rare thing. One happy husband.
Drinks - I as ever enjoyed some wine, but Graham and Cooper went for freshly squeezed juices. Cooper plumped for pear and raspberry and Graham had apple and lemon.
We had a great meal at The Gate. The decor was simple but interesting with panels of different wood decorating one wall and the entrance. The staff were welcoming and friendly and the restaurant, which was quite quiet when we arrived for our early dinner got very busy as our meal progresses, but you weren't near enough other tables for that to become anything more than a cheerful buzz.
Tried The Gate and love their recipes? Check out their cookbooks The Gate Vegetarian Cookbook and The Gate Easy Vegetarian Cookbook.
Comptoir Libanais is a Lebanese canteen. They have restaurants across London and are well worth a visit. Each time I visit one of their restaurants I like to share mezze. Fresh simple food, the kind I could happily eat every day. Not veggie restaurants but great veggie options. The restaurants are simple but very colourfully decorated. The get busy, so dine early or book ahead. Check out their cookbooks too.
The Blues Kitchen
We stumbled onto The Blues Kitchen while wandering around Camden. It was quite a find. Loved the decor and the atmosphere. Again it's not a veggie restaurant, but we all enjoyed our meals.
Graham had a Creole Bean Burger topped with Tomato Salsa and served with Fries, he skipped the slaw. Cooper had Mac & Cheese and Fries. I had a Grilled Bean Burrito with Fries and Slaw. There was also a superfood salad that sounded good, some great sides and a tempting veggie sharing platter. Cooper and I also had shakes which were amazing. I went for Oreo and Cooper had a Chocolate Shake.
While in Camden have a browse round the market and watch boats move up the canal. There's a rather good food market there if you are looking for street food.
Leon is a chain of healthy fast food restaurants. Although there are generally some tables, is usually used as a takeaway. Think Mediterranean. Falafel, hummus, halloumi, sweet potato and salads. It's not veggie but there are great veggie options.
|photo: Maison Cupcake|
My good friend Sarah from Maison Cupcake introduced me to Crussh. It's a rather fabulous takeaway and juice bar. A Great range of tasty veggie and vegan soups, salads and noodles as well as a fab range of smoothies. Cooper wasn't impressed with the salads (he likes his separate on the plate), but did like one of the porridge pots.
That's it. My top 5 places to eat veggie in London. It's a small list, but a great starting point. It's a list I hope to add to with each new trip to London.
Where would you recommend we eat in London?
Disclosure: The Gate invited us to have a meal in their restaurant. It would still have hit the top of the list if we'd found it ourselves. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.